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Braves tab Spencer Strider, Max Fried for NLDS starts vs. Phillies

The Atlanta Braves tabbed right-hander Spencer Strider as the Game 1 starter for Saturday’s National League Division Series clash with the Philadelphia Phillies.

Braves manager Brian Snitker said left-hander Max Fried will start Game 2 on Monday.

Strider is a National League Cy Young Award candidate after going 20-5 with a 3.86 ERA in 32 starts. He was the only 20-game winner in the majors this season.

“I think he’s very much ready, especially he experienced it last year,” Snitker said. “And it was a tough situation for him. So I think he’s probably really excited to have this opportunity when he’s healthy and well rested and prepared.”

Strider, 24, was roughed up by the Phillies in Game 3 of the NLDS last season. He gave up five runs and three hits in 2 1/3 innings and took the loss in a 9-1 setback. Philadelphia won the series in four games.

He is striving for a different outcome on Saturday.

“When you go into the postseason, you want to feel like you can be successful,” Strider said on Friday. “You have done it before. Like I said, it’s a fresh slate. So they’re a dangerous team. They’re a very good team. They had a phenomenal regular season as well. And so we’re expecting them to come out and fire on all cylinders, and we want to be as well.”

Fried, 29, went 8-1 with a 2.55 ERA in 14 starts this season, missing time with hamstring and forearm injuries.

He also lost to the Phillies in the 2022 NLDS, getting torched for six runs (four earned) and eight hits over 3 1/3 innings of a loss in Game 1.

For Philadelphia, left-hander Ranger Suarez (4-6, 4.18) will start Game 1 and right-hander Zack Wheeler (13-6, 3.61) will start Game 2.

Suarez, 28, was limited to 22 starts this season due to elbow and hamstring injuries. He received a no-decision in Game 1 of the 2022 NLDS when he allowed one run and three hits and walked five in 3 1/3 innings.

“I feel very happy to be the guy starting for us,” Suarez said. “It’s an honor. I know that it hasn’t been the best season of my career. I was away for a couple of months due to injuries, but I’m mentally ready for this game. I feel good. I think it’s going to be a beautiful day.”

Wheeler, 33, lost his start in last season’s NLDS against the Braves. He gave up three runs and four hits in six innings in Game 2.

–Field Level Media

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